By Mary Pedersen, Board Member
On March 26, 2013, Rabbi Carnie Rose of B’nai Amoona led a Passover Seder for the community. Friends and family not of the Jewish faith were welcomed and taught about this ancient festival and tradition that is celebrated and honored among Jews still today. Passover is a festival of redemption and freedom. Although much of this holy day is focused on the miraculous story of the Ancient Israelite Exodus from Egypt’s bondage of slavery, Rabbi Rose called upon everyone to ponder about “what is holding you bondage today?” He then challenged everyone to use the power of G-d to assist them in freeing themselves from this affliction.
Guests representing various faith traditions, students from Webster and Maryville Universities, and high school international exchange students were some of the honored guests. The evening would not have been possible without generous funding by the Staenberg Family Foundation and the New York-based National Jewish Outreach Program.
The evening service began in the sanctuary where readings, prayers and chanting were led by Rabbi Rose and Hazzan (Cantor) Sharon Nathanson. Over 200 went into the Gullar Banquet Hall for the Seder. Although much of the Seder meal is very ritualistic, singing, dancing, and conversation were enjoyed by all.
The evening was full of sensory exploration to help teach and remind all who attended about the trials the Israelite slaves had to endure. Bitter herbs and matzo unleavened bread were among some of the items the guests were asked to partake and experience.